How to use なり ( = nari)

猫には猫なりの教え方があるんだよ。

= Neko ni wa neko nari no oshiekata ga arun dayo.

= A cat has its own way of teaching. 

みんな、元気?

= Minna, genki?

= How are you doing?

Today’s guest teacher is Câlin-sensei from France. He has been taking my Skype lesson and his Japanese is just amazing! 

So he is going to teach you one of JLPT N1 level word なり ( = nari) 

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みなさん、こんにちは!Câlinです。

= Minasan, konnichiwa! Câlin desu.

= Bonjour à tous! Je suis Câlin! 

I am going to teach you how to use なり ( = nari) today. It is listed JLPT 1 level but some of the expressions are very useful even for beginners. 

1) as soon as you do ~ 

 :n: How to form: 

verb dictionary form  + なり ( = nari) = as soon as someone did something, ~ 

Ex. 弟は家に着くなりトイレに駆け込んだ。🚹

= Otouto wa ie ni tsuku nari toire ni kakekonda.

= As soon as my little brother got home, he rushed into the bathroom. 

Ex. 友達は私の顔を見るなり「昨日のデートはどうだった?」と聞いてきた。

= Tomodachi wa watashi no kao wo miru nari “Kinou no deeto wa doudatta?” to kiite kita.

= As soon as my friend saw me, he/she asked me “How was your date yesterday?”.

Note: It is similar to V (past tense) + 途端/ とたん ( = totan) but while the verb which comes before なり ( = naru) is a dictionary form, とたん ( = totan) is used with a past tense.

* 着くなり ( = tsuku nari) →着いたとたん ( = tsuita totan)  

* 見るなり( = miru nari) →見たとたん ( = mita totan) 

2) なり ( = narini)  & なり  ( = narino) : in one’s own way/ style 

 noun / adjective  + なり ( = narini) + verb/adjective 

 :kkk:  in one’s own way:

You use this expression when maybe what you did was not good enough for other people but you did your best to some extent in your own way. 

Ex. 自分なりにがんばったと思う。

= Jibun nari ni ganbatta to omou.

= I think I did my best in my own way.

Ex. なりに家事も仕事も両立させてきたと思う。

= Watashi nari ni kaji mo shigoto mo ryouritsu sasete kita to omou.

= I think I have been balancing housework and job in my own way.

 :ii:  though ~ 

Ex. みかちゃんは、小さいなりに親の手伝いをよくしている。

= Mika chan wa, chiisai nari ni oya no tetsudai wo yoku shite iru.

= Though Mika-chan is small, she helps her parents in her own way.

Ex. この商品は安いなりに便利だ。

= Kono shouhin wa yasui nari ni benri da.

= This product is cheap but useful.

* noun/adjective   + なり ( = nari) + ( = no) + noun  : something in its /one’s way. 

Ex. なりのおしゃれを楽しむ。

= Watashi nari no oshare wo tanoshimu.

I enjoy my fashion in my own way.

You sometimes repeat what comes before なり ( = nari)

A (noun)には、A (noun)なり

= A (noun) niwa A (noun) nari no

= has A’s/its own way 

 :pinkcandy2: From the picture above:

にはなりの教え方があるんだよ。

= Neko ni wa neko nari no oshiekata ga arun dayo.

= A cat has its own way of teaching. 

Ex. うちにはうちなりのやり方がある。

= Uchi niwa uchi nari no yarikata ga aru.

= Our family has our own way of doing things.

Ex. 息子には息子なりに言いたいことがあると思う。

= Musuko ni wa musuko nari ni iitai koto ga aru to omou.

= I think my son got something to say in his own way.

Ex. 子供には子供なりの苦労がある。

= Kodomo ni wa kodomo nari no kurou ga aru.

= Children go through some hardships in their own way. 

Ex. にはなりの考えがあるようだ。

= Kare niwa kare nari no kangae ga aru you da.

= He seems to have his way of thinking.

* (verb dictionary form  / adjective + なら ( = nara) +) verb  dictionary form  /  adjective+ なり ( = nari) +   ( = ni) + verb 

* (verb dictionary form  / adjective + なら ( = nara) + ) verb  dictionary form  /  adjectiveなり ( = nari)  ( = no)  noun 

You often use this form when you make a suggestion under certain condition.

→To do something regardless certain condition./Though ~, do it anyway in your own way. 

Ex. わからないならわからないなりに自分で調べたら?

= Wakaranai nara wakaranai nari ni jibun de shirabetara?

= If you don’t understand at least do your best in your own way to understand by checking it yourself. 

Ex. 忙しいなら忙しいなりに時間を大切に使おう。

= Isogashii nara isogasihi nari ni jikan wo taisetsu ni tsukaou.

= Though we are busy, we should use time properly.

Ex. できないならできないなりにもっと努力をしたら?

= Dekinai nara dekinai nari ni motto doryoku wo shitara?

= Even if you can’t do it, you should at least make more of an effort.

* それなり ( = sorenari )  in its own way / decent / proper 

 :n: How to form: 

* それなり ( =  sorenari ni ) + verb / adjective

* それなり ( = sore nari no) + noun 

1) in its way: It is kind of moderate way of expressing something.

Ex. 旅行はそれなりに楽しかった。

= Ryokou wa sorenai ni tanoshikatta.

= The trip was fun for what it was.

Ex. 「あの店、美味しかった?」

= Ano mise oishikatta ? 

= Was (the food in) that restaurant good?

「まあね。それなりに美味しかったよ。」

= Maane. Sorenari ni oishikatta yo.

= Sort of. It was good in its way.

2) decent / proper 

Ex. 子供達にはそれなりの大学に入ってもらいたい。

= Kodomotachi niwa sorenari no daigaku ni haitte moraitai.

= I want my children to go to a decent university. 

Ex. それなりのお金が貯まるまでバイトを続ける。

= Sorenari no okane ga tamaru made baito wo tsuzukeru.

= I will keep working until I save up decent amount of money. 

Ex. 彼にはそれなりの仕事に就いて欲しい。

= Kare niwa sorenai no shigoto ni tsuite hoshii.

= I want him to get as decent a job as someone like him can be expected to get.

4) AなりBなり ( = A nari B nari)   = A or B /  either A or B / either doing A or doing B

How to form:

* verb dictionary form + なり ( = nari) + verb dictionary form  +なり ( = nari) 

*  noun + (preposition + )  なり ( = nari) + noun + (preposition + )  なり ( = nari) 

To give two examples from speaker’s point of view. 

* When you tell someone what to do.

Ex. もうこの本は読んだので捨てるなり人にあげるなり好きにしてください。

= Mou kono hon wa yonda node suteru nari hito ni ageru nari suki ni shite kudasai.

= I finished reading this book so you can either throw it away or  give to someone.

Ex. わからないことがあったらMaggie先生(に)なりCâlin先生になり聞いてください。

= Wakaranai koto ga attara Maggie Sensei (ni) nari Câlin Sensei (ni) nari kiite kudasai.

= If there is something you don’t understand, ask Maggie Sensei or Câlin Sensei.

Note: You can also use 

verb + なり ( = nari) + verb + なり( = nari) form.

:u:

Maggie先生に聞くなり Câlin先生に聞くりしてください。

= Maggie Sensei ni kiku nari, Câlin sensei ni kiku nari shite kudasai.

* When you make a suggestion:

Ex. お腹がすいたら自分でご飯を作るなりピザを取るなりすればいいじゃない。(female speech)

= Onaka ga suitara jibun de gohan wo tsukuru nari piza wo toru nari sureba iijanai.

= If you are hungry, you could cook yourself or order in pizza. 

Ex. やせたかったらダイエットなりヨガなりしたら?

= Yasetakattara daietto nari yoga nari shitara?

= If you want to lose weight, you should go on a diet or yoga.

Note: The difference between A  B ( =A ka  B) and AなりBなり( = A nari B nari)

If you say: 

やせたかったらダイエットヨガをしたら?

= Yasetakattatara daietto ka yoga wo shitara?

The speaker is suggesting specifically either going on a diet or yoga.

You use なり なり ( = A nari B nari) when the speaker list two representative ideas. 

Ex. ストレスがたまったら山に行くなり海に行くなりして自然と触れ合った方がいい。

= Sutoresu ga tamattara yama ni iku nari umi ni iku nari shite shizen to fureatta hou ga ii.

= When you are stressed out, you should get in touch with nature by going to the mountains or the beach.

Ex. 煮るなり焼くなり好きにして。(Set phrase) 

= Niru nari yaku nari suki ni shite.

= You can treat someone as you want. (Literal meaning: you can cook them, bake them or anything.)

* When you express your intention:

Ex. 道に迷ったら人に聞くなり地図をみるなりしてそちらに伺います。

= Michi ni mayottara hito ni kiku nari chizu wo miru nari shite sochira ni ukagaimasu.

= In case I get lost, I will be there by  asking people or checking the map. 

5) Other  Idiomatic expressions:

* なり / なんなり = nannari = anything

Ex. なんなりとお申し付けください。(Formal)

=  Nannari to omoushitsuke kudasai. 

=  I am at your service. (You can ask me to do anything you want.)

*verb dictionary form / noun + なり( = nari) + なんなり ( = nan nari)

Ex. ステーキなりなんなり好きなものを注文してください。

=  Suteeiki nari nannari sukina mono wo chuumon shite kudasai.

=  Steak or anything, you can order whatever you like.

Ex. もう17歳なんだから大学に行くなりなんなり自分で決めなさい。

= Mou juunana sai nan dakara daigaku ni iku nari nan nari jibun de kimenasai.

= Going to the university or anything…You are already 17 years old so you can decide whatever you like. 

*多少なりとも = tashou nari tomo = to some extent, in any way,  even if it’s a little  =  少しは= sukoshi wa) 

Ex. 私の気持ちを多少なりとも理解してほしい。

= Watashi no kimochi wo tashou nari tomo rikai shite hoshii.

= I want you to understand how I feel even a little.

Ex. 多少なりとも日本語ができると旅が楽しくなる。

= Tashou naritomo nihongo ga dekiru to tabi ga tanoshiku naru.

= Traveling will be more fun if you know even a little Japanese

* 言いなり = iinari = to do what others tell you to do,  yes-man

Ex. 彼は奥さんの言いなりだね。

= Kare wa okusan no iinari dane.

= He does whatever his wife says.

Ex. 人の言いなりにはなりたくない。

= Hito no iinari niwa naritaku nai.

= I don’t want to do what other people want me to do.

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マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

Câlin先生、ありがとう!

= Câlin-Sensei, arigatou!

= Merci beaucoup, Câlin-Sensei! 

犬にも犬なりの教え方がありますよ。

= Inu ni mo inu nari no oshiekata ga arimasu yo.

= Dogs have our own way of teaching, too.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for taking the time to teach us some Japanese which’s really useful.
    A lot of the advanced grammar that you choose to teach are used more than the others so congrauts for your good grammar choices!! I consume Japanese for almost all my free time and I often encounter them so I recommend people to learn them well.

    1. You’re very welcome!
      Some of the advanced words are just for formal situations but this one can be used in a daily conversation. 😉

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